TBR Friday: ARC-apalooza

Happy Friday! If you follow me on Twitter (which you totally should – I’m @SpookyKidLit) you’ve probably seen me joke a couple of times about being disappointed not to get ARCs of some super popular books, but in reality I am grateful and thrilled beyond words every time a publisher or author is gracious enough to send me a book to review. So today I want to highlight a few of the awesome books on my TBR that I actually get to read and review for y’all before the release date!

Born Scared by Kevin Brooks — September 11, Candlewick Press


From the moment of his birth, Elliot’s life has been governed by fear of almost everything, even of his own fear — a beast that holds him prisoner in his room. The beast is kept at bay, though not eliminated, with a daily regimen of pills. But on Christmas Eve, a mix-up at the pharmacy threatens to unleash the beast full force, and his mother must venture out in a raging snowstorm to a store that should be only minutes away. Hours later, when she still hasn’t returned, Elliot sees no choice but to push through his terror, leave the house, and hunt for her. What happens if the last of his medication wears off and the beast starts scratching at the doors of his mind? Everyone has a breaking point — will Elliot come to his?

This sounds almost unbearably tense. I’m going to have to start this one early, because I know I’m going to want to finish it all in one night.

The Good Demon by Jimmy Cajoleas; illustrated by Michael Hoeweler, cover art by Jaya Miceli — September 18, Amulet Books


Clare has been miserable since her exorcism. The preacher that rid her of evil didn’t understand that her demon — simply known as Her — was like a sister to Clare. Now, Clare will do almost anything to get Her back. After a chance encounter with the son of the preacher who exorcised her, Clare goes on an adventure through the dark underbelly of her small Southern town, discovering its deep-seated occult roots. As she searches for Her, she must question the fine lines between good and evil, love and hate, and religion and free will.

Y’all don’t even know how excited I am about this book. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that I was approved for this ARC. Exorcism, Southern Gothic horror, and a story about a girl who actually misses her demon? Sign. Me. Up.

How to Cook a Princess by Ana Martínez Castillo and Laura Liz — August 28, NubeOcho


Gingrich the Witch takes her cooking very seriously, from the perfect utensils — cages and cauldrons — to the perfect recipes — a Sleeping Beauty omelet or a Cinderella hamburger… Follow along as she prepares her favorite “legendary” meals.

I love me some fairy tale princesses, but I also have a dark sense of humor, and this cannibalistic cookbook looks deliciously warped. Pun very much intended.

The Darkdeep by Ally Condie and Brendan Reichs; cover art by Antonio Javier Caparo (illustration) and Jeanette Levy (design) — October 2, Bloomsbury Children’s Books


Everyone in Timbers knows Still Cove is off-limits, with its creepy Beast sightings and equally terrifying legends. But when a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland over a cliff and into Still Cove’s icy waters, friends Tyler and Emma — and even Opal Walsh, who usually runs with the popular kids — rush to his rescue…and discover a mysterious island hiding in the murky, swirling mists below.

Though the island appears uninhabited, the kids can’t shake a feeling that something about it is definitely not right. Their suspicions grow when they stumble upon an abandoned houseboat filled with all sorts of curiosities: odd-looking weapons, unnerving portraits, maps to unknown places, and a glass jar containing something completely unidentifiable. And in its lowest depths churns a dark, deep secret.

As the group delves deeper into this mysterious new clubhouse, their lives begin to intertwine in weird and dangerous ways. For something ancient has awakened…and it can detect not only their wishes and dreams, but also their darkest, most terrible imaginings. Do they have what it takes to face the shadowy secrets lurking within their own hearts?

I’m pretty sure these meddling kids awaken Cthulhu, which is going to be amazing, but I won’t lie to you: they had me at “unnerving portraits.”

Don’t Eat Me, Chupacabra! / ¡No Me Comas, Chupacabra! by Derek Sullivan and Kyle Sullivan — September 11, Hazy Dell Press


Little Chupacabra is a picky eater with a monstrous appetite for only one thing: goats. This is a huge problem if you happen to be a goat.

I’m already a member of the Hazy Dell Press Monster Series Fan Club, and anything chupacabra-related is an automatic buy for me. The fact that it’s a bilingual book is a major plus as well, so this is just a win all around.

Begone the Raggedy Witches by Celine Kiernan; cover art by Victoria Semykina — September 11, Candlewick Press


On the night that Aunty dies, the raggedy witches come for Mup’s family. Pale, cold, and relentless, the witches will do anything for the tyrannical queen who has outlawed most magic and enforces her laws with terror and cruelty — and who happens to be Mup’s grandmother. When witches carry off her dad, Mup and her mam leave the mundane world to rescue him. But everything is odd in the strange, glittering Witches Borough, even Mam. Even Mup herself. In a world of rhyming crows, talking cats, and golden forests, it’s all Mup can do to keep her wits about her. And even if she can save her dad, Mup’s not sure if anything will ever be the same again.

I don’t know what it is, but I’ve really been drawn to Irish horror lately. I do have some Irish blood in me (but not on me, though the day is young), so maybe that’s part of it. Whatever the reason, I’ve been looking forward to this title for a while now, and I’m really hopeful that it’s the beginning of a new favorite trilogy of mine.

Clearly I have quite a bit of reading to do, but that’s always the case with a book blogger, right? And with great titles like these, it’s not exactly a bad problem to have. So what are your top TBR picks? Have I added to your lists? Let me know all about them in the comments!


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